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Strange Creatures: The Story of Walter Rothschild and His Museum Hardcover – February 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
As a young adult, Walter worked at the family firm, but his heart was just not into banking and finance. His father ultimately allowed Walter to build a museum on their estate to house Walter's collection of exotic creatures from all over the world. Over time Walter assembled the biggest zoological collection ever created by a private individual and made numerous contributions to scientific knowledge about new animal species.
This biographical account presents readers with an interesting description of a child who defied the pressures placed upon him by his family and societal expectations in order to pursue his own career dreams. The book can be used as a vehicle for talking with young learners about the opportunity cost of working in a job that may not necessarily be part of one's intended career track. Lively illustrations and crisp text help to draw the attention of children who may not ordinarily read biographies of lesser-known historical figures.
Walter Rothschild was born into a family of bankers and was the richest boy who had no interested in the banking business. Walter barely spoke as he was a very shy 7 years old kid. But he didn't need words to express his love for animals that crawled, slithered or flew. His father wasn't happy that Walter was spending so much of his time with these creatures and he was worried that he wouldn't be able to take over the family business. Walter was interested in becoming a scientist and opening his own museum, a natural history museum.
Walter was able to stand up to his father and create his own legacy by creating his own museum at the age of 7.
According to the author, because of Walter Rothschild, the study of wild life has changed over the years. It is no longer considered ethical to take animal specimens. Studying of live animals is done using binoculars and their behavior recorded by cameras.
Despite what Walter's father wanted him to become Walter stood his ground to become a scientist. Walter created the largest zoological collection ever gathered by one man. We should not let the expectations and pressures of others crush our passion or dreams.
Author Lita Judge did a great job illustrating this book and capturing the real life history of Walter and his animals.
FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.